We don’t usually think of a city as a living thing, but I look at Ogden as a place to experience the five senses. I may not be up to date on Ogden’s program of senses improvement, but here is a list of ideas that any mayor of Ogden should consider.

Reestablish the Mission 2000 (with a new name) and have a member of each planning department of each city along the Centennial Trail (river trails).

Light the 21st Street pond to encourage water and light festivals as in Baltimore, Maryland, and Great Falls, Montana. Authorize electric vehicles to use the pond trail to allow immobile and assisted living persons to tour the one mile circular trail using personal vehicles or extended golf carts. Perhaps we could also authorize horse drawn buggies.

Cover and light the walking bridges over the Ogden River to reflect imaginative designs and make a brochure as they have done in Oregon and Bozeman, Montana.

Paint images of steam engines on the roll up doors at the Union Station so that riders of the Front Runner can enjoy the art.

Move the Visitors and Convention office now on the second floor up a long narrow stairway in a building on Washington Boulevard. Move back to the Union Station or the building at the Front Runner station. Build a covered walkway from the Front Runner to the Union Station much like the ones at Thanksgiving Point. Or consider moving the Front Runner station to the west side of the Union Station (it’s already covered).

Find a way to finance a summertime, highly visible trash pickup and mobile information booth. Have volunteers or college students dress as the Mary Poppins chimney sweep with can, broom and top hat. Provide a Public Health Department booth at the Farmers Market to give free blood pressure readings, water, emergency cot and other services. Return benches to 25th Street with no sleeping design.

Require better filters on the animal food facility. Entering Ogden can be a disagreeable scent experience.

Use the grain elevators on 12th Street for giant images of Ogden.

Create a tree farm/education center. Ogden has tens of thousands of trees that will need replacing. Find Ogden’s unique trees and make a visitors map about them as at the Kew Gardens in England.

Encourage street musicians.

Push for an interchange on Interstate 15 at 24th/Pennsylvania Avenue. Layton found the money to build over the highway to get to the malls and theaters, surely we can do better.

Be sure that the media covers any planning meetings between the mayor and all other elected officials representing Ogden and Weber County to help them understand what Ogden needs when they go to the state legislature.

Put restaurants on both the Ogden and Weber rivers.

Push for a medical facility on the east side of the railroad tracks. An earthquake that drops the 24th Street viaduct will create havoc with both hospitals unreachable to those in the west.

Create “Farm to School” hydroponic gardens to provide vegetables for students during the winter as in Kansas, Missouri, Nevada and foreign countries.

Downsize the UTA buses to better match the ridership. See Europe and Buena’s Aries, Argentina for ideas.

See if having a European style bakery in a mall would draw simply because of the five senses.

Place water features on the north entrance of the downtown amphitheater using ancient Rome as a model.

Using Phoenix as a model, create a live TV broadcast with call-in capabilities. Notify residences in a geographic area to watch. A panel of city officials could then explain upcoming activities in the area and solicit comments and ideas.

Better use of the Planning Departments to provide ideas from around the world along with for-profit developers.

We spend much of our time trying to get businesses with large numbers of employees into Ogden, and not enough time showing the world why they should come to Ogden. Tax advantages and low income housing loans are fine but most businesses and travelers go to cities to witness the pleasures of our five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch and hearing. One of the ideas behind the creation of the Centennial Trail was to prove to businesses that Ogden is a place to relocate. We should build on the success of our trail systems.

Anyone running for mayor should visit the many knots of old men in cafes around town and listen. These men are survivors with experience and they have honed the art of solving the world’s problems in an hour. A mayor should “take the easy shots” and brag about them. We need to be sure that ideas flow and elected officials are not suffering from slacktivitis. Ideas are cheap but elected leaders come with a price. So voters choose carefully and think through the promises and platitudes.

Jay Hudson lives in South Ogden and previously worked as assistant to Ogden Mayor Glenn Mecham. He holds a Masters of Public Health from Berkeley.

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